Name Teresa L. Arrowood
Where are you from
I live in Jackson, Ohio. It’s a small town in the southern part of the state.
A little about yourself, i.e. your education Family life etc.
I am a wife, mom of three children, and a grandmother of five. My oldest child is my daughter by marriage, Stephanie, who is a wife and mom herself. She is a nurse and a stay at home mommy for the moment. My middle child is a son by marriage. Steven Daniel is serving in the United State Military and lives in Washington State with his wife and children. Our youngest, William Kyle is married, he and his wife are presently in college studying nursing and will graduate in 2015. My husband is a Veteran and served as a Military Police Officer. This December we will celebrate 24 years of marriage. I have lived in the small town all of my life and until for some reason God places me somewhere else I plan to remain here.
I started in nursing as a junior in high school and have worked in Nursing since 1980. I graduated from high school with a certificate as a nursing assistant and followed it with a vocational nursing degree as an L.P.N. in 1984. After six years of practice, I returned in 1989 and graduated with an Associate Degree in Applied Science from the University of Rio Grande in 1990. I have also taken some classes in preparation for my Bachelors in nursing and hope to complete it soon. I work as a Critical Care nurse in a small rural hospital and have been in that type of nursing since 1984.
As far as my writing, I started when I was thirteen. My high school held an Arts Festival every year in the spring. As students we were required through our English class to have something submitted into the fair. It was something we all did during our high school career if you were in Art, Music etc. I wrote some in my junior year at the vocational school during down time in English class for my own enjoyment. My teacher at the time would take my writings home with her on the weekend and read them and return them to me on the following Monday. She encouraged me a good bit. It wasn’t until my son was getting married that I decided to work on it seriously. I took my laptop on a family vacation in the mountains of Tennessee where I proceeded to write the first three chapters of what became my first book, Standing in the Eye of the Storm. It was a big step in making the decision to publish it. I finished the first book in 2012. The Sequel, Stilling the Thunder has just been released and I couldn’t be more proud of them.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
My Debut novel was published twice actually. I found it difficult to work with my prior publisher and it has been released under Titan Publishing House. It has taken almost two years to get the second out. So far the first has been well received, and has gained a five star rating. It’s humbling. I didn’t expect that. I can only hope the second will be as well received.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I picked my so called hobby up in the past two and ½ years to help me with dealing with the empty nest. It has also become a therapy as I have for years suffered from depression and panic disorder, so it helps relax me and take me away from everyday events I would just as soon not carry around with me. It is a cleansing, after working with Critical Care patients twelve hours a day.
Fiona: When had you first considered yourself a writer?
Not until my first book was actually on the market, then it was hard to believe.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Some of my friends and family members have lived through abusive relationships and I wanted to raise awareness of what it is to be an abuse survivor. Over the amount of years in nursing I have been in, you see many different levels of abuse. It isn’t just children, even though they are the majority that is known. There are adult men and women that suffer at the hands of the people they love and trust the most in their lives. I wrote the book in hopes that it would be used as a tool for healing. So many live in shame because they think it is their fault. It isn’t. I took my knowledge in nursing and applied it through the book. I have always heard from many authors to write what you know best. I am a born again Christian and I wrote this book with the help of God and the message I felt was given to me to help those who were hurting.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
Both of my books I wrote trying to give the reader a visual of the characters and mostly dialogue instead of just telling a story. The stories themselves are dark in that they talk about the memories of an adult woman and man of how they were treated at developmental ages. The story settles in the first book on the female lead and how she was treated at 16 as an abductee. Beaten, and mentally and sexually abused at the hand of a man she had known. Her mind had pushed it back as to protect her, leaving her with holes in her memory.
The second book tells his story of how (the male lead) he and his sister were abused and how he protected her from the man that had taken them in as foster children. He lived through night terrors, addiction and threats of suicide because of the physical, mental and sexual abuse at the age of five. Being placed in a role too old for his youth of protecting his three year old sister was more than he was able to handle in which landed him in a rehab unit at the age of 21. They are written honestly and telling. Both feature romantic love, but they also reflect the love of God and how he uses the worst circumstances to bring us to him and to use us for his own good.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
The first title pretty much picked me. What better title for a book on abuse? The second is one that came pretty quickly as the character picked it. Sounds strange, I know. I have been told by readers that “You realize that each character is part of you somewhere,” so the Alpha male of the story picked the title Stilling the Thunder. It is used by him in the telling of his story.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
There is help. If you are suffering from the effects of abuse or are in an abusive relationship. Just knowing that you are not to blame for how someone else chooses to behave. Everyone has storms that come into their lives, it’s how you come through them that makes a difference in your life and the lives of others.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
It is all realistic. Each character is based on something at some point I have encountered as a nurse, mother, niece, or friend, either direct or indirectly. Some of the places mentioned are real others are fictitious. None of the stories are taken from real people. They are a combination of things that I have seen and heard through my lifetime. They are based on truths only and not situations.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
See above explanation.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most?
As far as writings I like the older books. The one I remember actually reading clear to the end was A Christmas Carol. I never much liked to read because from birth my vision was impaired enough that I was unable to see the book as well as a normal person. My husband bought me my first Kindle a few years back for a birthday present. My son had been in a drama that year and had played Jacob Marley in a Christmas Carol. I was curious as to how well the play followed the story. I was hooked from then on.
Fiona: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
It’s hard to say, I have a few authors I read their books on a regular basis. I like the Nicholas Sparks books, but I also read some of Julie Garwood, H.M. Ward and Lori Foster. I like the realness of the books I also have read Karen Kingsbury and I have tried to write my books in a combination of each style.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Run the Risk, Lori Foster
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Julie Poole and Beverly Hollowed. I am looking into purchasing their books. It looks like something I would enjoy reading. I like the love stories but also like some thrillers and mysteries.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
I just released Standing in the Eye of the Storm Sept 1st and its sequel came out Sept 16.
At the time I am being kept busy marketing my first two novels and am trying to book some more signings. I have a lot going right now with work and writing.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
I have friends and church family that has been supporting me along with my family. If it came down to it, God gave me the story to tell, I am just an instrument.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yes, I would actually like to do it full time at some point.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I wouldn’t change a thing. I love the characters, the story line and it I have felt from day one it was given to me by God. I don’t feel that I could have written it without him.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I was an only child so I built quite an imagination I am sure. It’s all in how you look at it. Being an only child can be a blessing or a curse. I used my time to imagine great things.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I am working on my third novel called Fire Chaser. It doesn’t relate to the first two books as they are part of a series of books. The story follows a Baltimore Fireman Nathan Becker that works for the fire and rescue and has lived with the fact that the woman he fell in love with, (Allison), seven years prior left a week before their wedding without an explanation. A surprise encounter will bring them back together in an unlikely place, a place they both remember and is significant to them both.
Jack Dresden (Allison’s Fiancé) has a problem of his own keeping a secret from her. The financial backer of his company is a cougar of a woman that is out for him, leaving him in her bed literally.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Not being able to shut it down of a night to be able to sleep. That’s the biggest one. There are times when I can sit down and write and the words just flow. Sometimes it just seems to write itself. I never used outline one for either of my first two books. I wish I could just sit down and write 24/7, but with my career, I can’t do that so I carry a notebook just about everywhere. Once you have an idea, it’s hard to quit.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
It’s hard to say. I like the Alpha males that Julie Garwood puts into her story line along with H. M. Ward’s drama. I also like the writing style and romance of Nicholas Sparks. They are powerful story lines with believable characters. I like something that will bring me into the story so that I feel like I am standing in the room with them. I have to have something that continually moves and keeps my attention. There has to be emotion tied to it, a plot that makes sense.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Yes. I have some signings lined up and I hope to book more soon. I would like to see some of the places that I have written about and studied for my books first hand. I have written about at least two places I haven’t seen.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Leana from my Publisher did the artwork, from Leana MippieArt. I knew what I wanted, it was pretty clear in my mind, and I just needed the right designer to help bring it to life.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The hardest is when you hit a brick wall, I have done that, time to time writing the third book. My first two though the hardest scene to write was the actual love scene or bedroom scene in the first book. That was difficult for me. I couldn’t seem to get it on paper of what I had in my mind. After five drafts I ended up closing my eyes and placed my hands on the keyboard. I wrote it from the character’s point of view, what would they see, hear, feel, and touch? I had a certain way I wanted written. I wanted it written as a simple innocence instead of a hot and fiery scene.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learned that when you write you really put yourself on the line. You open yourself up and it basically exposes you.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Write from the heart. Do it for you. Make sure you take time to research your publisher and the places and subject you write about. Keep track of your characters and their likes and dislikes, what makes them unique. I kept my information in an index file and looked up the character if I needed to.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Don’t give up on yourself. What got me started on this trail was a motivational speaker that had stated “What would you do if you were not afraid?”
Thank you for your following. I am truly grateful and humbled by your response. If I helped a single reader, that’s an accomplishment in itself.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
A Christmas Carol as I explained above. I loved it m but then I am a Christmas fanatic.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Simple things can make me laugh. I love the laughter of children. Laughter in itself is contagious.
Crying, YouTube videos of soldiers returning home to their families. That will get me every time. I am an extremely emotional person so it doesn’t take much to make me laugh or cry for that matter.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would
To meet and why?
There are a few, but if it came down to one or two I would have to say Jesus is the first. I have so many questions I would like to ask him. The second is my child that I miscarried at six weeks, a child I was told I would never be able to get pregnant with. I knew long enough to pick one name so if he turns out to be a she, well, she is going to be really upset with her name. Matthew was the only name that had been chosen.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
I like movies, old ones, new ones, doesn’t matter as long as they are good. I also like photography and scrapbooking.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
My favorite movie has got to be It’s a Wonderful Life, followed by the Wizard of OZ, Fireproof is also a favorite of mine. TV, The Vampire Diaries, ONCE, Rescue Me, I also grew up on Medical Center, Julia, and Emergency. I guess that’s why I chose the career path I did.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Steak, Homemade Pizza, and Ice-cream. My favorite color, Red or black. I love the music from the 70’s and mid 80’s I also like swing, country and some jazz. Elvis will always be my favorite artist.
Fiona: If you were not a writer, what else would you like to have done?
What I am doing now. It’s worthwhile and fulfilling. I have saved a lot of lives, but I have seen people pass on. It’s an eye opening experience.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so, what is it?